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David Blaine: "Breathless" On Oprah

A crowd stares at a water-filled, 8-foot acrylic sphere which is home for magician David Blaine, 33, right, at Lincoln Center in New York, Sunday May 7, 2006. Blaine lived in the bubble, breathing through an oxygen tube, and was rescued on 5-8-06 after falling short on his goal of ending the stunt by holding his breath under water longer than 8 minutes, 58 seconds. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
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Endurance specialist David Blaine set a new world record for holding his breath. He lasted 17 minutes and 4 seconds.

The feat was broadcast live on "The Oprah Winfrey Show." The old record was 16 minutes and 32 seconds.

Blaine said after it was over that he'd accomplished a lifelong dream.

He had convulsions the last time he tried the stunt. This time he inhaled pure oxygen ahead of time to saturate his blood with oxygen and flush out carbon dioxide. The process is allowed by Guinness World Records.


Photos: Evel Knievel 1938-2007
Blaine says he used to hold his breath as a child, which gave him an edge in swimming races.

Other stunts have included Blaine spending more than a month in a glass box over the River Thames in London, a week in a see-through coffin and 63 hours inside a block of ice.